InterviewCellulosic ethanol to reach commercial scale by 2013

09 June 2010 22:41  [Source: ICIS news]

NEW YORK (ICIS news)--A DuPont and Danisco joint venture plans to produce cellulosic ethanol on a commercial scale by 2013, its chief executive said on Wednesday.

The joint venture, DuPont Danisco Cellulosic Ethanol (DDCE), could begin licensing the technology even sooner - in 2011, said Joseph Skurla, CEO of the joint venture.

Since joint venture's start in 2008, the company has improved performance of its integrated system and lowered the cost of production, Skurla said. “We have brought down the cost of enzymes in production by 50% and have optimised the overall conversion process for higher yields per ton,” he said.

DDCE was able to produce cellulosic ethanol for less than $2/gal (€0.44/litre), “and that cost will continue to come down”, Skurla said.

“The next step will be establishing large-scale trials to work through the logistics from farm to biorefinery,” Skurla said, followed by “ensuring that US renewable fuels policies remain consistent to ensure that the industry gets off the ground".

.For DDCE, this meant maintaining the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) mandates and extending tax incentives for cellulosic ethanol.

The RFS mandate set a 100m gal/year target for cellulosic biofuel through 2010. The amount would rise to 250m gal in 2011, and 16bn gal/year by 2022.

Earlier, the DuPont and Danisco joint venture said that it planned to build a 25m gal/year (95m litres/year) ethanol plant. Another plant would produce 15m gal/year.

($1 = €0.84)

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By: Ivan Lerner
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